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Ralph Abernathy Biography

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Ralph David Abernathy (March 11, 1936 - April 17, 1990) was an American civil rights leader.

Abernathy was Martin Luther King's Number Two in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, holding the official title of Secretary-Treasurer. Abernathy helped organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott, among other civil rights struggles. Abernathy was with MLK in Memphis when King was assassinated, in fact, they had shared hotel room 307 at the Lorraine Motel the night before.

Abernathy assumed the presidency of the SCLC after King's death, and held the position until 1977, when he retired to regular pastor work in Atlanta.

Abernathy went on to serve as a vice president of Rev. Sun Myung Moon's American Freedom Coalition, a group which seeks to unite conservatives to work toward common goals, such as traditional values, the sanctity of life, and anticommunism.

His youngest daughter is actress and writer Donzaleigh Abernathy.

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